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After loss to EMU, volleyball travels to take on Kent State

In a must win situation, Central Michigan University’s volleyball team nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback Thursday night as the women fell in five sets to Eastern Michigan University.

The Chippewas were on the verge of being swept when they battled back and took sets three and four leaving the fifth set to be the deciding factor.

A slow start in the fifth set seemed to doom the women as EMU took a quick 7-2 lead. However, CMU did what they had done all night and fought and took the lead 8-7 led by three kills from middle blocker Kalle Mulford.

It was back and forth with each trading points until EMU’s Stacey Perinar recorded the kill that gave the Eagles a 14-13 lead forcing CMU to call timeout.

A bad set by freshman setter Kylie Copple ended the Chippewas comeback hopes as EMU escaped with a 15-13 set win and a 3-2 victory.

Facing the sweep, CMU showed life capturing the third set 25-21 closing it on a 7-3 run aided by the performances of Mulford and senior Angie White.

White finished the third set with six kills and Mulford recorded three kills and three blocks that allowed the Chippewas to stay in the game.

Still facing defeat, CMU refused to go down in the fourth set. It was a back and forth affair until kills by Hallie Enderle and Kristen Reenders saved the day for the Chippewas as they took the fourth set 29-27.

CMU led in the first set 23-22, but eight total errors allowed for EMU to recover and pulled out the win 25-23.

The Eagles had three different players’ record three straight blocks down the stretch to shut the door on CMU hopes to take the first set.

Momentum from the first set spilled over for the Eagles as they took control early and jumped out to a 16-9 lead halfway through the set. EMU led by as many as 10, and pulled away finishing the set on a 9-7 run to win 25-16.

White finished the match with a team-high 15 kills and Kaitlyn McIntyre added 14 for the Chippewas. Freshman Jordan Bueter tallied 10 kills and Mulford assisted with eight.

The women are now 9-14 overall and 4-7 in the Mid-American Conference. They will hit the road to face Kent State University Saturday in a crucial conference match up.

“On the flipside, I think we have done really well against Kent State in the last couple of outings,” said CMU coach Erik Olson. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot when half of your roster is new.”

Olson said that passing will be one of the key components in this match, and it will take a collective attempt to pull out the victory.

“At this point in the season, we’ve got to starting putting stuff together,” he said. “It’s a team effort. I think our kids on the court need to do a great job.”

“I think our kids on the bench are doing a phenomenal job and have been all season. I think we have one of the best benches in terms of rowdiness and support in the conference. With our 6-10 players in our rotation, we need production.”

With the conference season coming to an end, Olson believes his team is up to the challenge against the Golden Flashes.

“I’m looking for them to play good solid team defensive and offensive game,” he said. “We need to put everything together. We are on the back half here, so it’s time to go.”